Planning your wedding on budget

From simple to luxury weddings- we all like to save money. Wedding money saver ideas for everyone. Nowadays, people have different dreams, budgets, priorities and tastes, so that wedding planning has become incredibly diverse and flexible. Whatever type of wedding is being planned, the one common denominator that all people can agree on is saving money.

Planning your wedding on budget

Whether you have lots to spend or not, who wants to spend more than they have to? Here are some tips to get your brain spinning and hopefully you’ll think of even more creative ways to make your wedding and reception perfect, without leaving your bank account with a bad hangover.

General savers:
– DIY everything! With the help of friends, family, and the informational highway we call the Internet, you can successfully plan a lovely wedding without a planner. Just don’t carry the load yourself, trust those people you are working with so your wedding day doesn’t turn into a nightmare.
– Think quality vs. quantity for your invites, it will cut your costs in half.
– Think of having your wedding and reception on off days and off-season. Saturdays are wedding nights so venues will charge heaps more for the same package that you may have for hundreds or thousands less on another day.
– Night weddings are more costly because of dinner, drinks and entertainment. If you are not party animals, having a daytime wedding with cute finger foods and a guitarist may be a safe bet for a charming budget wedding.
– Professional photographers are very pricey, but there are those who may be good but need more experience and can cut you a deal. Check around local schools or bulletins and forums for photographers who need more work in their portfolio. They may do it for free!
– Use Ebay or other online shopping sites for your bridal wear and décor. You can find great deals on just about anything from candles to dresses.
– Keep wedding favors simple and distribute one per couple.

Invitations & Menu cards
– DIY invitations: Keep it simple. You can go to a paper or stationary store to find really lovely and professional-looking sheets for ½ the price. They also may sell kits for creating wedding invitations, or you can opt for an online program, and then print them yourself at home. There are many ways to personalize your invitations and make them even more special than any professional service.
– Save on postage: Needless to say, less invitations means less costs, but aside from snipping your guest list, there are some other ways to save. You can skip the “save the dates” all together and just send out a decorated ecard. For the actual invites, if you send by mail, skip the inner envelope and thin sheet of blotter paper- I’m sure your invitees don’t mind opening one envelope rather than two. You can also have your guests reply online or by phone rather than having a reply card, which will save both of you the hassle.

Reception:
– The venue is one of the biggest costs for your wedding. If you have your wedding and reception at the same spot it will save your costs more than anything, maybe even do it in your back yard!
– Shop ahead of time for centerpieces and other décor during sales or the off-season. You may find some treasures!

Music:
– Now you can DJ your own wedding with a very long iPod play list, with all of your favorite tunes. Just have a friend take care of it on the actual day.
– Have a cordless microphone for all your friends to share the role as MC.
– Another option is hiring a DJ that can work the wedding and reception, rather than a band; it limits the number of people you have to pay.
– If you really want live music, hire a duo or smaller band. You can find music students who are looking for gigs and experience but may not be expensive as the professional wedding bands.

Food, Cake & Drinks
– An open bar is traditional, but costly, especially depending on your guest list! Have some servers walking around with bottles of wine or champagne rather than having an open bar, it may not go down as quickly.
– Use a two-tiered cake or cupcakes rather than tall extravagant options. As long as it tastes good… who cares about the height!
– Skip the sit-down meal with full courses. Everyone can appreciate cute little finger foods floating around the room to compliment their drinks. If the music and atmosphere is good enough, they won’t even notice.
– Offer beer, wine and one signature cocktail rather than a full bar. The liquor and alcohol can really add up.
– Use sparkling white wine rather than champagne for the toast.
– Don’t be afraid to speak to your caterer about costs. They are professionals, so they can suggest inexpensive but still tasty and chic options for appetizers or mains.

Floral Stuff:
– Unless botany is really your thing, you should opt for less costly flowers that still work with your color scheme. You will hardly see the difference, nor will your guests, but your pocketbook will thank you.
– Use lanterns and candles to dress up the atmosphere rather than more flowers.
– Keep your floral arrangements simple, and use more greenery than flowers.
– Use plants and flowers that are in season and local.

Dresses:
– Keep your eyes open for bridal sales long before the date.
– Shop online (even Ebay) for your dresses, for both you and your bridesmaids. You can always tailor them, which you often have to do for store-bought dresses anyways.
– Shop at sample sales and bridal fairs when they are in your area.
– If nostalgia is not key, rent your wedding gown!